Monday, December 18, 2006

The Original Foreign Policy

The Original Foreign Policy
December 18, 2006
by Congressman Ron Paul
Texas Straight Talk

"It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world."
George Washington

Last week I wrote about the critical need for Congress to reassert its authority over foreign policy, and for the American people to recognize that the Constitution makes no distinction between domestic and foreign matters. Policy is policy, and it must be made by the legislature and not the executive.

But what policy is best? How should we deal with the rest of the world in a way that best advances proper national interests, while not threatening our freedoms at home?

I believe our founding fathers had it right when they argued for peace and commerce between nations, and against entangling political and military alliances. In other words, noninterventionism.

Noninterventionism is not isolationism. Nonintervention simply means America does not interfere militarily, financially, or covertly in the internal affairs of other nations. It does not mean that we isolate ourselves; on the contrary, our founders advocated open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations.

Thomas Jefferson summed up the noninterventionist foreign policy position perfectly in his 1801 inaugural address: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations- entangling alliances with none.” Washington similarly urged that we must, “Act for ourselves and not for others,” by forming an “American character wholly free of foreign attachments.”

Yet how many times have we all heard these wise words without taking them to heart? How many claim to admire Jefferson and Washington, but conveniently ignore both when it comes to American foreign policy? Since so many apparently now believe Washington and Jefferson were wrong on the critical matter of foreign policy, they should at least have the intellectual honesty to admit it.

Of course we frequently hear the offensive cliché that, “times have changed,” and thus we cannot follow quaint admonitions from the 1700s. The obvious question, then, is what other principles from our founding era should we discard for convenience?

Should we give up the First amendment because times have changed and free speech causes too much offense in our modern society? Should we give up the Second amendment, and trust that today’s government is benign and not to be feared by its citizens? How about the rest of the Bill of Rights? It’s hypocritical and childish to dismiss certain founding principles simply because a convenient rationale is needed to justify interventionist policies today.

The principles enshrined in the Constitution do not change. If anything, today’s more complex world cries out for the moral clarity provided by a noninterventionist foreign policy.It is time for Americans to rethink the interventionist foreign policy that is accepted without question in Washington. It is time to understand the obvious harm that results from our being dragged time and time again into intractable and endless Middle East conflicts, whether in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, or Palestine.

It is definitely time to ask ourselves whether further American lives and tax dollars should be lost trying to remake the Middle East in our image.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Unobtainable Great Writ

The link I have provided is an article published in the Harvard Law Review recently. It is the first article ever published in this law journal which was written by a pro se litigant. It is a revealing look at how the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus has changed over the years and how in practical terms the Great Writ has been made unobtainable; what possibly was the last means of recourse against unlawful incarceration and conviction and of great importance today in the climate in which we find ourselves. (The writer of the article is serving a life sentence in the State of Florida as a result of a plea bargain agreement falsely foisted on him by his public defender. What price a truly remarkable article.)

I have included below the Congressional record from S3458-3460. The passage of the last major alteration of the writ, (and in my opinion the act which actually rendered the Great Writ non existant contrary to the Constitution and our antecedant rights), the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 is the item in discussion.

I find it immensely revealing that Senator Ted Kennedy resoundingly came out against the alteration and eviceration of the Great Writ. Senator Orrin Hatch led the charge for the legislation and admits to writing the majority of the bill. I am with Senator Kennedy on this one.

The majority of those who presently occupy the judge's chambers across the country, especially at the federal level, are the enforcers of this tragedy and do so regularly without conscience it appears. The Supremes are just as guilty. Interestingly, most of these folks are Republican appointees. I guess they follow their leader, Abraham Lincoln, with regard to the Writ of Habeas Corpus.

One would hope that this article would stimulate the reversal of the AEDPA and functionally restore the Great Writ to our arsenal of weapons against tyranny and the likes of courts which are effectively nothing more than Star Chamber reincarnate.

The Senate record of the discussion in this regard:


Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, it is a year since the tragic bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City, and 10 months since the Senate passed a bill to give Federal law enforcement agencies the effective assistance they need to deal with these crimes. Unfortunately, the conference report before us is a far weaker bill than the measure we passed last year. All that is left now is the hollow shell of a terrorism bill, a mockery of the strong bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate.

Most of the meaningful antiterrorism measures passed by the Senate have been stripped out by the House, so that this bill is far less likely to deter terrorist crimes or aid in the apprehension of terrorists.

Using the phony label of antiterrorism, the bill achieves two reprehensible goals: it denies meaningful habeas corpus review to State death row inmates, and it makes it easier to turn away refugees and victims of political persecution from America’s shores.

Everyone knows what happened to this bill. It fell victim to the anti-Government assault of the National Rifle Association. After the Senate passed a tough, effective terrorism bill, the NRA stepped in and prevented House action for months. Then the NRA’s supporters in the House stripped the bill of key provisions to strengthen Federal law enforcement.

As a result of the NRA’s maneuvering, the conference report before us is completely inadequate to meet the needs of law enforcement. The Senate still has a chance to insist on a real terrorism bill, and not a sham bill. We should send this bill back to conference, and insist that the conferees restore the tough Senate provisions.

There are numerous glaring gaps in the conference report: It does not include the expanded wiretapping authority that the FBI has said is necessary to keep up with current telecommunications technology. It does not address the dangerous reality that bomb-making information is now freely disseminated on the Internet. It does not include a Senate-passed provision extending the statute of limitations for serious firearms offenses. It does not include a necessary exception to the posse comitatus laws so that military experts can provide technical assistance to law enforcement in terrorist attacks involving chemical or biological warfare.

Each of these measures was included in the Senate bill, but has been stripped out of the conference report at the insistence of the NRA. And while the bill is clearly deficient in these respects, it includes other provisions that are too extreme in limiting the rights and liberties of individuals: It eviscerates the ancient Writ of Habeas Corpus, denying death row inmates the opportunity to obtain even one meaningful Federal review of the constitutionality of their convictions.

It returns to the discredited cold war guilt-by-association policy of the McCarran-Walter law, excluding individuals from our shores based on mere membership in an organization. Current law already contains authority to exclude members of known terrorist organizations.

The far broader sweep of this bill is unnecessary and excessive. It places excessive restrictions on the ability of refugees to obtain asylum in the United States. This provision was never considered by the full Senate, and it ought to be debated on the immigration bill, not the terrorism legislation.

Mr. President, I point out here what has been happening. Asylum claims decline
57 percent as productivity doubles in 1995. What we have seen is the dramatic reduction in terms of the asylum claims. In 1994, there were 122,000; 60,000 completed.

In 1995, 53,000; 126,000 were completed. The Justice Department has a handle on this issue. It is doing it in a conscientious, fair, and disciplined way, and we ought to retain it and not be caught up with other facts and figures.

Every omnibus bill requires Members of Congress to weigh the good provisions against the bad ones. I voted for the Senate bill even though it included the objectionable limits on habeas corpus. But the balance has changed, now that the Senate bill has been seriously weakened. There is too little to place on the scale against the shameful trashing of the writ of habeas corpus and the Nation’s asylum system.

It is unfortunate that the unrelated and controversial subject of habeas corpus was injected into this bill in the first place. Proponents say that habeas corpus is relevant because the suspects in the Oklahoma City bombing are charged with a Federal capital offense. But that fact is no justification for changing the rules with regard to State prisoners.

The habeas corpus proposals do not strike a fair balance. The bill denies death row inmates a full opportunity to raise claims of innocence based on newly discovered evidence. It will therefore increase the likelihood that innocent people will be executed. The proposal to limit inmates to one bite at the apple is sound in principle. But surely the interest in swift executions must yield to new evidence that an innocent person is about to be put to death. As Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once wrote, ‘‘Swift justice demands more than just swiftness.’’

Also, the proposal would unwisely require Federal courts to defer to State courts on issues of Federal constitutional law. A Federal court could not grant a writ habeas corpus based on Federal constitutional claims, unless the State court’s judgment was ‘‘an unreasonable application of Federal law.’’

It is a serious mistake to require a Federal court to defer to the judgment of a State court on matters of Federal constitutional law. The notion that a Federal court should be prevented from correcting a constitutional error because it was a reasonable error is unacceptable, especially in a capital case.

Ever since the days of Chief Justice John Marshall, the Federal courts have served as the great defenders of constitutional protections, and they should remain so.

The asylum provisions in this bill are equally misguided. The Senate-passed bill did not address this subject, because it is more appropriately dealt with as part of immigration reform. But the conferees adopted House-passed language that drastically limits the ability of refugees to claim asylum if they arrive without proper documents. This provision undermines the fundamental treaty obligations of the United States by subjecting legitimate refugees to persecution and even torture.

It is often impossible for asylum seekers fleeing persecution to obtain a valid passport or travel document before they leave. Even the effort to obtain a travel document from the same government that is the persecutor may result in further danger to the asylum seeker. People may die or may be tortured while waiting for the proper papers. Accepting this reality, the U.N. High Commission on Refugees has recognized that circumstances may compel a refugee to use fraudulent documents to escape persecution. This fact has long been recognized under international law. The United States has international obligations to protect refugees and asylum seekers who use fraudulent documents to escape persecution abroad. Article 31 of the U.N. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees imposes an obligation on the United States not to penalize refugees and asylum seekers who are fleeing persecution, and who present fraudulent documents or no documents at all.

Under current practice, when asylum seekers arrive in the United States without valid travel documents or a passport, they are placed in detention. Generally, they are released from detention only if an asylum prescreening officer believes they have a sound case. That is the dramatic change in the way the Justice Department is considering the asylum seekers at the present time and how they were considered a number of months ago. Otherwise, they must pursue their asylum claim while in detention.

The pending bill significantly changes this process. It gives the prescreening officer the authority to deport an asylum seeker who enters with false or no documents. The office can deport the asylum seeker without a full hearing. An immigration judge never sees the case. In addition, the asylum seeker has no access to the assistance of counsel or even an interpreter. As we consider this unprecedented proposal, we should remind ourselves of Raoul Wallenberg, the hero who saved countless lives during the Holocaust by


issuing false travel documents so that Jews could escape Hitler’s persecution. If this bill had been law in 1946, those Jews could have been returned to Europe without so much as a hearing. Finally, the bill is flawed because it excludes foreigners from our shores based on mere membership in a disfavored organization. In the days of the cold war, distinguished writers, professors, and others were excluded from the United States based on their mere membership in a Communist organization.

Finally in 1990, we repealed the notorious McCarran-Walter law and set exclusion criteria based on individual actions, not their words. This bill is a giant step backward. It explicitly sets excessive exclusion criteria based on membership in an organization, even though it would be grossly unfair to assume that all or even most members of the organization are terrorists. Current law already gives broad authority to exclude members of terrorist organizations in such cases, and the blunderbuss provision in this bill is unneeded. If applied to American citizens, it would be a violation of the first amendment.

The harm caused by the habeas corpus, asylum, and exclusion provisions of this bill is severe, and the good accomplished by the antiterrorism sections of the bill is minor. I urge the Senate to send this defective bill back to conference with instructions to do the job right—and produce a real antiterrorism bill that gives law enforcement the tools it needs to get the job done.

I thank the chairman and the ranking minority member of the committee for letting me address the Senate on this issue.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.

Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I have listened to my distinguished colleague and friend, and he would like to restore the Senate bill. We just cannot do that. I was very proud of that Senate bill. I wrote most of it and, frankly, I think our colleagues worked together to come up with a good bill. When it went to the House, the House enacted a bill which really was much less than the Senate bill. We have gone to conference and have brought most all of the Senate bill back.

The distinguished Senator from Massachusetts says that this bill we have today is a hollow shell. Now, come on. Let me just go through some highlights of this bill.

We have most everything back, and the things we do not have back, we can probably, in the real world, solve anyway, under current existing law. I have to say, yes, I would prefer the original Senate bill, but let me give you one illustration.

In the fundraising provisions, I might add that the Antidefamation League, and others of similar mind—and I am of similar mind—believe that our fundraising language is far superior in this bill than it was in the Senate bill. I know it is far superior.

We were able to work that out with our colleagues in the House. That alone is a reason for preferring this bill over the Senate bill, plus the added promise that I have made here that I will try to work out these wiretap and other issues, or at least the wiretap issues, in the Senate Judiciary Committee. But just look at the highlights of this antiterrorism bill. Capital punishment reform, death penalty reform, something that has been needed for years, decades. It is being abused all over the country. There are better than 3,000 people who have been living on death row for years with the sentences never carried out, the victims going through the pain every time they turn around. This will solve that problem while still protecting their constitutional rights and every right of appeal that they really should have. It is written well.

The international terrorism prohibitions, prohibitions on international terrorist fundraising. As I have said, the Anti-Defamation League, AIPAC, and a whole raft of others that are concerned in this area, like the language in this bill much better than the languagein the Senate bill.

This subtitle adds to Federal law prohibitions which provide material support to, or raise funds for, foreign organizations designated by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General, to be terrorist organizations.

We have the Terrorist and Criminal Alien Removal and Exclusion Act in this bill. We remove alien terrorists, and we provide very good language that was very much the same as the Senate language. We have the exclusion of members or representatives of terrorist organizations, the alien terrorists exclusion, if you will. This permits, as a new legal basis for alien exclusion, the denial of entry into the United States of any person who is a representative or member of a designated terrorist organization.

We have a whole title on nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons restrictions. These are not picayune provisions. This is big-time stuff. This is something this country has needed for years and the whole world needs. We have it in this bill.

We have the expansion of scope and jurisdictional bases of nuclear materials prohibitions and a report to Congress on thefts of explosive materials from armories. We require the Attorney General, together with the Secretary of Defense, to undertake a study of the number of thefts of firearms, explosives, and other terrorist-type materials from military arsenals. We will make them get on these things.

We have biological weapons restrictions, enhanced penalties, and control of biological agents. We have chemical weapons restrictions, chemical weapons, and biological weapons of mass destruction.

We provide for a study of the facility for training and the evaluation of personnel who respond to the use of chemical or biological weapons in urban or suburban areas.

We have the implementation of the Plastic Explosives Convention in here.

We have the marking of plastic explosives.

We have studies on the marking of other explosives and putting taggants on them.

We have made a whole bunch of modifications in criminal law to counterterrorism, increased penalties for conspiracies involving explosives.

All this talk about explosives. We provide language in here that will help to solve those problems. Acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, we have language on that. We have criminal procedure changes in here that would make a real difference with regard to certain terrorism offenses overseas, the clarification of maritime violence jurisdiction, increased and alternate conspiracy penalties for terrorism offenses, clarification of Federal jurisdiction over bomb threats. The expansion and modification of weapons of mass destruction statute is in here, the addition of terrorism offenses to the money laundering statute.

We have the protection of Federal employees in here mainly because it is needed now in this day and age with some of the vicious people we have to put up with in our society. We have the protection of current and former officials in here, officers, employees of the United States.

We have the death penalty as an aggravating factor. We solve that and add multiple killings to the list of aggravating factors in the imposition of the death penalty. We have detention hearing language in here and directions to the sentencing commission.

I have to say, we have a whole raft of other things that I do not have time to mention. Look, it is time to pass this terrorism bill. It is time to let the people in Oklahoma City know we mean business here.

Is the time expired on both sides? On behalf of the majority leader and I, I move that we table the Kennedy, amendment and ask for the yeas andnays.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The yeas and nays have been ordered. The question occurs on agreeing to the motion to table.

Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, do we have motions to table on both of these amendments? And will they be back to back?

The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is only one amendment. The Senator from Massachusetts did not offer an amendment.

Mr. HATCH. He did not. I am happy to then proceed with the vote on the Biden amendment.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question occurs on agreeing to the motion to table the motion to recommit.


The yeas and nays have been ordered.

The clerk will call the roll.

The legislative clerk called the roll.

Mr. LOTT. I announce that the Senator from Florida [Mr. MACK] is necessarily

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote?

The result was announced—yeas 56, nays 43, as follows:

[Rollcall Vote No. 68 Leg.]




The motion to lay on the table the motion to recommit was agreed to.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Military Commissions Act: A Precursor To Tyranny?

(I guess my concerns over the Military Commisions Act are shared by a few others...---Editor)

by Chuck Baldwin
December 5, 2006

In an interview with nationally syndicated radio talk show host Alex Jones, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas recently discussed President Bush's support for the Military Commissions Act. During the interview, Paul said that "the law officially allows for citizen concentration camp facilities."

Paul also warned that "the Military Commissions Act and the Defense Authorization Act . . . essentially wipes out Habeas Corpus."

Paul continued by noting, "Right now we don't have concentration camps, but . . . the authority has been given so that concentration camps can come without Habeas Corpus." He then said, "If they can lock you up, what good is freedom of speech or what good is a gun?"

Couple the implementation of the Military Commissions Act with the already-passed USA Patriot Act and all the legalities necessary to completely eviscerate America's constitutionally-protected liberties are in place. Think of it. Without firing a shot or dropping a bomb, President George W. Bush has done more to strip the American people of their liberties than all the world's despots and dictators combined!

Consider further the recent statements of former house speaker Newt Gingrich. According to the (Manchester, NH) Union Leader, "Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday [Monday, Nov. 27] in Manchester said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.

"Gingrich, speaking at a Manchester awards banquet, said a 'different set of rules' may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message."

Of course, Mr. Gingrich did not say how he plans to reduce people's free speech rights. Neither did he say a word about the fact that our greatest potential for terrorism is coming in the form of an invasion of illegal aliens across our southern border, and that it has been the words and policies of one George W. Bush that have mostly contributed to this threat.

Will someone please tell me how expunging the free speech of the American people is going to make the United States safer? And, pray tell, why are our brave troops fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, ostensibly to "promote democracy," if the same political leaders who sent them to the Middle East are working to shrink democracy here at home?

Ladies and gentlemen, please wake up! Under the leadership of President George W. Bush, rights and freedoms that have been lost to you include your right to an attorney, your right to know the charges being levied against you, the right to a speedy trial, the right to trial by a jury of your peers, the right to not be subjected to torture, the right to not have your home and personal items searched and seized without warrant, the right to not have your personal conversations (including letters and email) intercepted without court order, and the right to not incriminate yourself, just to name a few. And now we learn that our government has authorized and is planning to build "concentration camp facilities."

Furthermore, just because you or I have not yet been personally subjected to this tyranny, does not mean that we won't be! The seeds are already planted; the die is already cast. The time to act is not when you are being carted off to an "undisclosed location." By then, it is too late.

Thank God for Congressman Ron Paul. If it weren't for him, there would be practically no one on Capitol Hill willing to sound the alarm for the American people. I wish someone could convince him to run for President of the United States on the Constitution Party ticket. The GOP would never support his candidacy for president, but the CP would welcome him with open arms. And, given the American people's frustration with both major parties, a serious third party challenge is very possible in 2008.

In the meantime, the power establishment in Washington, D.C., continues to undermine our Constitution and fritter away our freedoms.

© Chuck Baldwin

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Words of Wisdom

"The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position."

-- George Washington (Farewell Address, 19 September 1796)

Reference: George Washington: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. (521)

I think these words are most appropriate with the passage into law of the Military Commissions Act on October 17, 2006. This law consolidates powers in the executive branch that literally exceed the powers of the original Star Chamber before it. Prosecutor, Judge, Jury and Torture Master are all contained in this hideous masquerade of lawful law; all in the name of "protecting us" from the terrorists without...Every elected official that voted for or signed this law should be bounced as far out of Washington as possible.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Contra Imperium: The Christian Case Against American Imperialism and the Security/Police State

Featured article from the November/December 2006 issue of FFAOL
Tom Rose
November/December 2006

©Tom Rose, 2006

A deep division is occurring in America. It is dividing family members and friends into opposing ideological camps. The ideological split between previously gracious and forbearing individuals is caused by two aspects of growing statism:

First, America’s military expansion overseas—i.e., imperial hegemony.

Second, the domestic growth of what is known as a security/police state—i.e., the domestic program of government rulers to induce among the populace a ready acceptance of the idea of foreign imperialism through the generation of mass fear coupled with the forceful suppression of political dissent.

In one camp are those who claim the Bush Administration’s preemptive invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq (and the proposed invasions of Lebanon, Syria, and Iran) are unconstitutional, unwise, unnecessary, and do nothing but inflame Islamic hatred of America. Some in this camp believe that President Bush does not possess true authority. They believe that the real power brokers are the war-mongering neoconservatives who, in turn, answer to the more shadowy rulers who seek to meld our American Republic into the international “New World Order.” As you might have heard, recent surveys reveal that 36 percent of the American population now believe that the U.S. government had some hand in the “terrorist” attacks of 9/11—that it was an “inside job.” According to this growing view, these attacks were allegedly contrived to justify the two-pronged policy of preemptive foreign war and the establishment of a domestic security/police state.

Included in the allegations of the first camp is that the present administration is being compromised by gross sexual immorality, as in the case of James Guckert (a.k.a. “Jeff Gannon”), the homosexual pornographer who advertises himself as a male prostitute and who had ready access to the White House through a White House press pass. More recent is the exposure of pedophiles in Congress, like ex-Florida Congressman Mark Foley, who quickly resigned when the fact of his illicit emails to young male congressional pages was made public. Such moral indiscretions demonstrate a clear weakness in political leadership during a time of war and national security.

The opposing camp argues, “No way!” They state that President Bush had an “experience” and is a “born-again” Christian. They relate that Bush’s political staff, during his first presidential campaign, told how Bush allegedly led a young teenager to Christ. Therefore, the president would not engage in any under-the-table maneuvers for political reasons. They argue that, instead of opposing President Bush’s preemptive attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq and his regime-change occupation of these countries, Americans should support him and the patriotic troops who are protecting America against “Islamic terrorism.” And if future intelligence indicates that Iran is achieving nuclear capability, then America and her allies should uphold the president in his efforts “to protect our country” against this nuclear threat from radical Islamic leaders.

Perhaps the best way to shed light on this divisive subject is first to consider foreign imperialism and domestic statism in ancient history, and second, Great Britain, the greatest imperial nation of all times.

We will then consider the United States of America to see how our own country gradually became, though unrecognized by most Americans, a full-fledged imperial state overseas and a corresponding security/police state domestically.

Finally, we will evaluate the double-sided problem of foreign imperialism and domestic statism from a Biblical perspective.

The issue of building empires, either domestic or foreign, is completely contrary to God’s Word. In man’s first world-empire-building attempt, the Tower of Babel, God confused the language and dispersed the people (Gen. 11:1–9). God’s clear plan for civil government is for the establishment of small, democratic-republic civil units, not large, unitary dictator-type units (Exod. 18:13–26). To be Biblical, America should abhor foreign possessions and international entanglements like the United Nations, NAFTA, etc.

Imperialism in Ancient History

A survey of ancient civilizations—as cited by the Preacher in the book of Ecclesiastes—shows “there is no new thing under the sun” (1:9). Accordingly, it is not surprising to discover that civil rulers, from the earliest kingdoms to those of the present time, all wielded hegemonic power to expand their borders by land or sea. Generally, the motive to attack other nations was to seize their wealth and to gain control of their natural resources, trade routes, or the seas.

Sometimes the motivation to make war on other nations was simply to eliminate them as competitors in trade. This was the case in Rome’s long-continued attacks on Carthage during three Punic Wars (264–146 B.C.). “Carthago delenda est!” (“Carthage must be destroyed!”) was the cry on Rome’s senate floor by those who stood to benefit from war. A similar motivation was behind Britain’s assaults against Germany leading to World War I because the “British Crown” feared competition from Germany’s rapidly expanding industrial capability.

What we today call “special interests” were usually behind inciting a pro-war attitude among the public. It was so in early history, and it is so today. Even in early history, it was essential for empire builders to instill in the common people a willingness to sacrifice their lives and the lives of their children as “cannon fodder” to expand their country’s imperialistic hegemony.

Here is a summary of key events of imperialistic hegemony in ancient history:
The Hyksos

Around 1720 B.C., the Hyksos, a Semitic people from Palestine, invaded the Delta area of Egypt and made all of Egypt tributary. The irresistible power of the Hyksos came from their temporary monopoly of two new weapons of war: the powerful composite bow of wood and horn and the much-feared horse-drawn chariot, which had sharp swords extending from the hubs of the wheels to slice up opposing foot soldiers. These awful war chariots generated great fear among the enemy.

It was during this pro-Semitic rule of the Hyksos in Egypt that Jacob and his family migrated to Egypt during Joseph’s reign as administrator. After some time, the Egyptians were able to expel the Hyksos because they adopted the new weapons that were introduced by the Hyksos invaders.
The Hittites

About 1450 B.C., the Hittites established themselves in eastern Asia Minor. They had developed an iron metallurgy that gave them improved weapons. Their horse-drawn chariots (inherited from the Hyksos) and iron-tipped spears and swords provided a strong military advantage and enabled them to expand their borders and conquer the people of central Asia Minor. The Hittite Empire included Syria, which had been lost to them by Egypt. Once again, superior military technology and the fear it generated among the enemy was the key to imperial expansion.
The Kingdom of Solomon

Shortly after 1200 B.C., an invasion of Indo-European peoples destroyed the Hittite Empire. The chief importance of the Hittites was the culture they passed on to the Greeks (who settled along the Aegean coast of Asia Minor) and the knowledge of iron metallurgy, which later gave the Philistines military dominance over the Israelites during the time of King Saul (1095–1055 B.C.).

Liberation of the area of Palestine from the hegemony of competing empires then allowed the Old Testament Israelites to grow and expand under the reigns of Kings Saul, David, and Solomon.

Solomon established an oriental-type, military-based empire similar to others in the Mideast. He maintained a formidable military force of 40,000 stalls of horses for chariots and 12,000 horsemen (1 Kings 4:20–28). His harem numbered 700 wives and 300 concubines. Burdensome expenditures and impressed labor were used to erect a grandiose temple and house for Solomon (1 Kings 6 & 7).

Under Solomon’s rule, the democratic republic of the Hebrews was turned into an autocratic empire (“like other nations”), which grew fat on wealth and tribute wrested from foreign nations. This was a typical growth-of-empire process that would be followed by other empires in the future. Gold and riches flowed into Solomon’s empire, but the internal cost to ordinary citizens was heavy taxation and the loss of individual freedom.

Eventually, burdensome taxes motivated the Hebrew people to rebel during the reign of Solomon’s son Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:16). This was a Biblical/historical instance of the principle of governmental interposition through which God raises up an intermediate magistrate to rally the people against rulers who have turned tyrannical.

Later Empires

The Assyrians, a Semitic people from the upper Tigris, subdued Babylon in 721 B.C. and gained control of the Fertile Crescent (which extends northward from where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers pour into the Persian Gulf, westward to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and southward to Palestine).

The offensive strategy of the Assyrian Empire in foreign conquests is important to note because similar steps were used both by earlier and subsequent empires:

1. The use of superior war-making technology to overwhelm the enemy; in the case of the Assyrians: the much-feared military chariots, mounted cavalry, and sophisticated siege engines.
2. A policy of generating terror among the peoples they attacked.
3. A very efficient system of political administration.
4. Destruction of the national
unity of conquered peoples by mass deportations.
5. Strong support of the empire’s domestic commercial classes who would profit from trading over large areas that were united by political and economic stability.

Expansion of the Assyrian Empire was quite successful, but, around 650 B.C. the ethnic population of Assyria had been so decimated by continued wars that the rulers had to depend on hired mercenary troops and levies from the nations they conquered. This weakened the empire and enabled Egypt to regain its independence. Also the Medes, an Indo-European people who had established themselves on the Iranian plateau about 1000 B.C., east of Assyria, refused further tribute. By 625 B.C. the Chaldeans, who had gradually filtered into Babylonia, revolted; and by 612 B.C. the Chaldeans and Medes joined to destroy Nineveh, the capital. Thus, we see that empires are built through force and by inciting fear among the enemy, but are themselves eventually destroyed by force.

The Roman Empire was notorious for how members of its Senate conspired to expand Roman hegemony for their own personal benefit—money and power—to the eventual ruin of the empire, which reached its zenith about A.D. 180. The Roman soldiers, who wielded the notorious short sword, generated great fear and hate among the enemy by leaving battlefields strewn with decapitated heads, and arms and legs. Today, the same tactic is used via mass cluster bombing and the use of depleted uranium (which causes deplorable birth malformations among the nations under attack).

Octavian Augustus (27 B.C.) attempted to restore the old Roman virtues of self-reliance, personal integrity, discipline, and family cohesion; but the aristocracy, in its moral decadence, was generally unconcerned about the drift of their country (like our modern Congress?). In the cities, unemployed mobs, long degraded by government-provided free bread and circuses (similar to our modern welfare payments and TV?) had lost interest in hard work. Later, a steady debauching of Rome’s currency was a telltale sign of its moral, political, and economic corruption. (A comparable decline in purchasing power of the U.S. dollar has occurred since creation of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913!)

Earlier empires (the Persian and that of Greece), and later empires (Byzantium, the Mongol and Ottoman, and those in India and China), all rose through the use of power and fear, and then declined. Generally the pertinent facts are similar: the lust for land, power, and riches at the expense of weaker nations; the greedy self-interests of those who benefit financially from imperial expansion; and the growth domestically of freedom-destroying statism.

The British Empire

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Portugal, Spain, England, France, and the Dutch all expanded their hegemony internationally. Each used the rapidly developing technology of gunpowder (cannons and small arms) to conquer and enslave less-advanced nations and to dominate their cultures.

Britain’s rise to become the preeminent world empire rested on the leading technology she had in arms manufacture and shipbuilding. This made her able to dominate less-advanced countries on both land and sea, thereby expanding her hegemony all over the world. Her boast was “the sun never sets” on her empire.

At home the common people were mentally conditioned, at great personal loss of life and limb, to serve as recruits in the imperial army and navy. This was accomplished through government propaganda and the willing participation of a compliant press that was largely controlled by commercial and financial special interest groups represented in Parliament. In this, note the similarity to the Senate of the Roman Empire. Blood flowed freely wherever Britain’s hegemony was extended (India, China, Africa, and elsewhere); immense riches flowed into the coffers of the Crown and members of the ruling elite.

Queen Elizabeth had incorporated the English East India Company in 1600. This created a monopoly of trade, producing vast wealth for her and other stockholders.

History textbooks downplay two main sources of the Queen’s vast wealth (accumulated tax-free) and of the wealth of other empire elites in Britain and Europe:

1. The opium trade. Tea and spices could not possibly generate the vast income needed to station British soldiers at the Khyber Pass, only one of many places where imperial troops were posted.
2. The African slave trade. Britain joined it in 1503, first to supply cheap labor to her sugar plantations in the West Indies, then later (in the 1600s and1700s) to supply cheap labor to the plantation owners in Colonial America.

Trade in opium and slaves provided the foundation for many family fortunes now enjoyed by descendants of the British and European royalty, as well as for elite families of New England in America today—though much effort is made to conceal these dark facts of history.

The Bank of England was founded in 1694 to provide the king with funds to pay for foreign wars. The Bank’s charter allowed it to charge 8 percent on monies loaned to the government and gave the Bank a monopoly for issuing credit-based banknotes on which it could collect interest. Credit financing made it easier to fund expansion of the empire overseas. The Bank is still located in “the City” of London, an independent entity not under the British government.

British imperialism reached its zenith after World War I when Palestine, Iraq, and large parts of Africa were designated as her “protectorates” by the League of Nations, which Britain greatly influenced. This allowed Britain to gain effective control of the rich oil reserves of Arab countries. This set the stage for the volatile situation we see in the Mideast today. Britain also gained effective control of vast mineral reserves and other riches in Africa.

After World War II, the extensive British Empire quickly crumbled, going the way of all empires, as freedom-minded peoples demanded self-determination.
America’s Path to Empire

In 1896 the U.S. Congress passed a resolution to intervene in a rebellion of Cubans against Spain, but President Grover Cleveland, an anti-imperialist, refused to get the U.S. involved. When pressured, he declared that if Congress declared war, he would not, as commander-in-chief, issue the necessary order to mobilize the army. Thus, Cleveland courageously opposed public opinion, which was being stirred up by special interests who had commercial ties to Cuba. Earlier, in 1893, Cleveland, against strong public opinion, had stopped the annexation of Hawaii, which was being engineered by commercial interests in Hawaii who had wrongly deposed Queen Liliuokalani.

In contrast, when the U.S. battleship Maine blew up in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898, President William McKinley, who did not want hostilities, reluctantly yielded to public pressure stirred up by special interests and a cooperative press. So America declared war against Spain, which ceded Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States, and thereby gained effective control of Cuba. This was America’s great step toward building a foreign empire.

One immediate effect of our venture into empire building was the rebellion of our prior allies in the war, the Philippine patriots, who demanded self-determination. The resulting Philippine resistance was overcome by American military strength, but it took three years and the deployment of 60,000 American troops to put down the rebellion.

In subsequent years, America’s foreign entanglements drew us into a long series of foreign wars, lasting more than a century. In each instance, there is sufficient evidence suggesting U.S. government deception of the American people in order to create support for war.

America’s engagement in World War I came after the sinking of the Lusitania, which the Germans accused the British of causing in order to bring the U.S. into the war. Much has also been written about FDR’s inducing the Japanese to attack the naval ships at Pearl Harbor. Also, Truman is alleged to have tricked North Korea into attacking South Korea, thus launching an unconstitutional war for America. And it is now a documented fact that LBJ lied to the American public about the Gulf of Tonkin incident—the alleged event that caused an immediate escalation of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

In the 1991 war “Desert Storm,” Iraq invaded Kuwait after being told that the U.S. “had no interest” in Iraq’s territorial dispute with Kuwait. It is also now well established that many of the atrocities alleged to have been perpetrated by Iraqi forces in Kuwait are fraudulent. These false allegations were used to stir up a pro-war attitude among the American public.

And, finally, the preemptive attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq were based upon faulty intelligence regarding so-called “weapons of mass destruction” and the very questionable events of September 11, 2001. Even today, as Bob Woodward recently revealed in his book State of Denial, the truth about the escalating violence in Iraq is being hid from Americans.

In each of these wars, the net result has been a sharply divided public; a sad waste of young lives; the centralization of more government power in Washington, D.C., especially in the hands of the executive branch (a shocking example is Congress’ recent passage in early October of the “Detainee Bill,” which unconstitutionally gives President Bush sole power to determine who is a “terrorist combatant”—including even American citizens!—and which, also unconstitutionally, provides President Bush retroactively with protection against being accused of the torture of prisoners under the Geneva Convention); tremendous increases in taxation and government regulation; persistent monetary inflation, which causes a steady depreciation in the purchasing value of the U.S. dollar; and a continued loss of individual freedom as citizens are persuaded by political leaders to surrender their God-ordained, self-responsibilities to the government. In short, a caretaker security/police state has developed in America as an inescapable and corresponding part of America’s evolvement into an empire state internationally.

During each war, freedom of the people has suffered, never to be wholly restored, and taxes and government control of the population have continually increased.

Evidences ...

Here are some clear evidences of the growth of American imperialism abroad and the accompanying security/police state domestically:

Burdensome taxes: When civil governments exceed their role in society—their lawless interventions into the spheres of the home, the church, business, and other private associations—their statist programs must be paid for. To wrest needed monies from citizens, the IRS has been set up as an “inquisitor” that has power to “undress people financially” every year, and even to make armed raids to confiscate property on claims of nonpayment. Today the average American must work for over six months each year to pay for federal, state, and local taxes. Compare this with God’s modest tithe of only 10 percent from His people.

Monetary inflation: When citizens start complaining about high taxes, civil rulers then turn to the easier route of a hidden tax called monetary inflation, which gradually siphons off the purchasing power of people’s money. Since the Federal Reserve Bank was established in 1913, the value of the dollar has steadily plummeted to less than 2 percent! Most of this insidious debauchment was caused by our involvement in foreign wars that we had no valid reason to enter, plus numerous unconstitutional government programs that forcefully transfer wealth from the pockets of some citizens to the pockets of others. Frederic Bastiat called this process “legalized theft.”

The “war on drugs”: President Richard Nixon initiated the war on drugs in 1971.

During WWII, the OSS (the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA) had to pay Malaysian warriors with heroin because they would not work for money, not even for gold. Thus, the OSS operatives made connection with the international drug cartel that operates through the “Golden Triangle” in Asia. Eventually, drugs literally started flowing into America from the poppy fields of Pakistan and Afghanistan in Asia and from Columbia in South America.

To counter the incoming flood of drugs, the federal government deceitfully started the war on drugs, but, of course, the flood continued. This so-called “war,” through the RICO law, resulted in armed SWAT-team raids all across America and the confiscation of billions of dollars of private property owned by innocent people. Many small operators in the drug scene were arrested, but no arrests of the major kingpins. Today, most local police departments have been effectively “federalized” by the FBI, and about 89 percent of local police departments now have strongly armed paramilitary units whose main job is to break into homes unannounced on drug searches. Almost 500,000 American citizens are now in prison on drug charges. In 1980 the number imprisoned was 50,000.

Secrecy in government operations: Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult for ordinary citizens to discover what politicians and government bureaucrats are doing.

In spite of the Freedom of Information Act, citizen inquiry is often “stonewalled” on the alleged claim that “this is a national security issue”; as if so-called national security issues were more crucial than protecting citizens’ constitutionally protected freedoms. Thus, the domestic web of freedom-destroying legislation and totalitarian government programs, as well as the so-called “black flag operations” of covert U.S. agencies overseas (and in our own country also), continue to undermine the Constitution. For instance, the Bush administration has been quietly advancing a massive “NAFTA Super Highway” that will run along Interstate 35 from the border of Mexico in Texas to the Canadian border north of Duluth, Minnesota. This empire-building scheme will be an accomplished fact, with no constitutional approval, before most Americans become aware of it.

Fear mongering: Throughout history, totalitarian-minded civil rulers have created a domestic climate of fear among the general population to make them more readily accept Orwellian-type regulations and control. Psychological control is much more efficient than using guns. “Foreign enemies” are thus the bogeymen whom the people are brought to fear.

In the modern case of America, it is so-called “Islamic terrorists” that have replaced the previous menace of communism.

A good example of fear mongering is the police-state atmosphere of fear currently surrounding American airports, supposedly to stop “terrorist” hijacking. Most Americans have “bought into” this specious tactic, and they, like sheep being led to slaughter, have been conditioned to continue exposing themselves to the most degrading forms of personal inspection when boarding planes—a clear undermining of the Fourth Amendment.

New repressive federal agencies: As a result of the psychological fear mongering about 9/11, Congress passed the constitutional-subverting “Patriot Acts” and created the KGB-type, police-state agency called “Homeland Security” (note the Orwellian language). This agency has been given the unconstitutional authority to use outright force to destroy Americans’ liberty at the whim of the president. Recently, Homeland Security notified banks that whenever banks are so notified by Homeland Security, bank customers would not be allowed to open their safe-deposit boxes unless a Homeland Security agent was present.

More than 400 governmental units throughout America (states, cities, and counties) have publicly gone on record as opposing the so-called “Patriot Act.” Three cheers! These are acts of governmental interposition.

Every statement above is true, and the list could go on and on; but the important question is, What are we to do?
What Direction Does God Give?

Solutions to the above-mentioned problems are readily found by searching Scripture because God’s Word is designed to guide mankind in how to live in a sinful world populated by not only sinful citizens, but especially by sinful and tyrannically oriented civil rulers (1 Sam. 8).

We are to think God’s thoughts (2 Cor. 10:3–5) in every aspect of our lives and especially in building our social institutions (family, church, businesses and other voluntary organizations, and civil government). We are created in God’s very image and likeness; therefore, we have a God-given right to be free, and we have the responsibility to maintain our freedom so that we can stand self-responsible before God, our Creator and Lord (Gen. 1:26–28; Exod. 8:1).

What we must do is threefold: think Biblically, think economically, and think constitutionally. Note the sequence: both our economic world and our political world must be made to conform to God’s Word.

These United States of America have grown beyond the Biblical pattern. One way of restoring our Constitutional Republic and eliminating the unitary aspect of our national government is to eliminate the Seventeenth Amendment thereby reinstituting the election of senators by state legislatures; and also eliminate the income tax and replace it with a head tax paid to the states in conjunction with requisitions requested by the national government, as we had under the Articles of Confederation. Patrick Henry, a wonderful patriot and believer in decentralized government, said, “I love those requisitions!” because they limited the power of the central government.

Today, our problem is too-big government, too far from home, and no effective way to choke off funds going to the national government. Eliminating the Seventeenth Amendment and restoring the “requisitions” that Patrick Henry so loved would accomplish this. Radical? Yes! But radical in the good sense in that the solution cuts to the very core of the problem.

To bring it about, Americans must ask, “What is the proper role of civil government in society according to the Bible?” This is the second-most important question in life because the answer will determine whether we live in freedom and self-responsibility to God during this life or as serfs to a centralized, autocratic government.

When it comes to burdensome taxes, the solution is clear: God’s gracious tithe, which is paid voluntarily, is limited to only 10 percent, for which God promises to bestow His blessings (Mal. 3:10). Any tax levy near 10 percent approaches tyranny, and any levy above that certainly is tyrannical.

Once again, we must ask, “What is the proper Biblical role of civil government in society?” We find the answer in Romans 13:3–4. Civil government is not designed by God to be a transfer agent to take money from one citizen and transfer it to another citizen (legalized theft). Rather, it is to be a negative force in society, not a regulator of economic activity, but simply a punisher of wrongdoers and lawbreakers.

Monetary inflation is nothing more than a form of insidious taxation that makes it easier for civil rulers to engage in the “legalized theft” process of wresting money from some citizens and giving it to others who happen to be favored by the rulers. Money creation by the Federal Reserve to fund government deficits should be abandoned because it is credit-created debt. Also, our system of fractional banking should be put on a 100-percent-reserve basis to stop banks from creating credit money when extending loans. Savings banks and savings and loan associations worked like this successfully for many, many years. This would end the alleged need for a central bank to supply a “flexible” monetary system and to serve as an alleged “lender of last resort.”

Governmental Interposition

Government by the people cannot function properly unless they know what is going on behind the scenes and understand the Constitution. If the false screen of “national security” continues as it is, our country is doomed to succumb to the security/police state. We live in a very perilous time; and the peril does not exist outside of our country in a fictional cave inhabited by an alleged freedom-hating, Islamic member of al-Qaeda. Our real peril exists in high places inside our own country. We ignore this fact at our peril and at the risk of what kind of country our children and grandchildren will be destined to live in.

What is God’s solution for unseating ungodly rulers who turn tyrannical and for replacing them with rulers of His choice? When King Rehoboam refused the people’s petition, it was, “[T]o your tents, O Israel”!

The principle in God’s solution to tyranny (unconstitutional rule) is called governmental interposition, and it can be done peacefully.

God has the power to turn rulers’ hearts (Prov. 21:1). First, let us pray for this. But also, let us remember that there are many imprecatory prayers in the Bible. They, too, are for our use. God’s final option is the Biblical principle of governmental interposition, whose time, I believe, has come. May God’s will be done to the salvation of America and to the glory of His Kingdom!

Tom is retired professor of economics, Grove City College, Pennsylvania. He is author of seven books and hundreds of articles dealing with economic and political issues. His articles have regularly appeared in The Christian Statesman, published by the National Reform Association, Pittsburgh, PA; and in many other publications. He and his wife, Ruth, raise registered Barzona cattle on a farm near Mercer, PA, where they also write and publish economic textbooks for use by Christian colleges, high schools and home educators. Rose’s latest books are: Free Enterprise Economics in America and God, Gold and Civil Government.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Words of Wisdom

"As the cool and deliberate sense of the community ought in all governments, and actually will in all free governments ultimately prevail over the views of its rulers; so there are particular moments in public affairs, when the people stimulated by some irregular passion, or some illicit advantage, or misled by the artful misrepresentations of interested men, may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn. In these critical moments, how salutary will be the interference of some temperate and respectable body of citizens, in order to check the misguided career, and to suspend the blow mediated by the people against themselves, until reason, justice and truth, can regain their authority over the public mind?"

-- James Madison (likely) (Federalist No. 63, 1788)

Reference: Madison, Federalist No. 63.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Quotes From Tozer

"God wants worshippers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship. It is inconceivable that a sovereign and holy God should be so hard up for workers that He would press into service anyone who had been empowered regardless of his moral qualifications. The very stones would praise Him if the need arose and a thousand legions of angels would leap to do His will.

Gifts and power for service the Spirit surely desires to impart; but holiness and spiritual worship com first." (That Incredible Christian, 37).

Monday, October 30, 2006

John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122)

The same day the Military Commission Act was signed into law by the Commander in Chief, he also, in a private Oval Office meeting signed the above legislation into law which allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."

Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act, which grants the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion for its ill-advised adventures, is entitled, "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies." Section 333, "Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law" states that "the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of ("refuse" or "fail" in) maintaining public order, "in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy."

The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters, so called "illegal aliens," "potential terrorists" and other "undesirables" for detention in facilities already contracted for and under construction by Halliburton. That's right. Under the cover of a trumped-up "immigration emergency" and the frenzied militarization of the southern border, detention camps are being constructed right under our noses, camps designed for anyone who resists the foreign and domestic agenda of the Bush administration.

One wonders how the Posse Commitatus Act fares after the passage of this law? The National Guard will be federalized and we have a standing army potentially being used against U.S. citizens.

I wonder what our President and Congress are thinking?

Inherent Power of the People

"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves in all cases to which they think themselves competent, or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press."

-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Cartwright, 1824)

Reference: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Lipscomb and Bergh, eds., 16:45.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Orwellian Doublespeak?

I have posted the link to VP Cheney's interview re water boarding which is on the web site of the Whitehouse. Judge for yourself. Apparently, simulated drowning is not a torture technique in the mind of the VP.

What else would not be considered torture if the goal is to "save lives?" This from the man who still owns stock in the Halliburton Corporation and before he "retired" from the Halliburton Corp. to occupy the Vice Presidency was given upwards of $30M by Halliburton for his 4 years of service. Hmmm...I wonder if that act would qualify as buying and interest in the rebuilding of Iraq----only if Halliburton were given contracts to regbuild Iraq, of course. Oh, that's right, they were given contracts by this Administration to rebuild Iraq.

Q: Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: It's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the Vice President "for torture." We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in. We live up to our obligations in international treaties that we're party to and so forth. But the fact is, you can have a fairly robust interrogation program without torture, and we need to be able to do that.

And thanks to the leadership of the President now, and the action of the Congress, we have that authority, and we are able to continue to program.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

On the Invasion of Private Rights

"The invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the Constituents."
(-- James Madison (letter to Thomas Jefferson, 17 October 1788)

Reference: The Constitution of Liberty, Hayek (475); original The Complete Madison, Padover (253)

I thought this was quite appropriate. It does take some thought, however, to digest what Madison is saying here.

I am personally amazed that any Christian could countenance legislation like the Military Commissions Act signed into law on October 17, 2006 with the overwhelming support of both Democrats and Republicans.(VP Cheney has stated in the past few days that using torture techniques like "water-boarding" or simulated drowning is a "no brainer." He lovingly supports such hideous techniques, apparently.)

Despite other comments, this administration, and many before it, seek to gain their desired results by the use of fear and manipulation. In the present case, I agree with Vox Day in his recent article: we face demise from within before the "terrorists" without will ever touch us. The acceptance of the use of torture being the latest moral indicator.

In my opinion, defending the use of torture against people, any people, violates the very core of the historic American least the American mind that founded this country. Those great men and women were also the victims of torture and acts unspeakable...and even being "dunked" (water-boarded?) to get them to recant their "heresies." Such acts make us worse than the puported "enemy who is out to destroy us..." And America's hands are clean...and there is nothing we have allowed our government to do overseas and in these "enemy" countries which might be the reason for their animosity...right? Such willfully blind thinking will not pass muster at the judgment seat, I think.

I think the press of circumstance and our acceptance of the propaganda of the "fear machine" have made us non-sensical. We in fact are accepting as legitimate the very acts (torture) which drove our fore fathers to this country.

I believe the prophet Micah' words in Micah 3 are appropriate for the condition of the church in America:

1 And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment?

2 Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones;

3 Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron.

4 Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.

5 Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him.

6 Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.

7 Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.

8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.

9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity.

10 They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.

11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.

12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.

As was the case with the nation of Israel, so now today, Zion, in America, is a plowed field.

GOP "Party Of Death," Too by Chuck Baldwin

October 27, 2006

For the sake of those who are unfamiliar with my background: I was raised as a Democrat. I remained a Democrat until 1980, when I registered as a Republican. I observed a demonstrable difference in Ronald Reagan's conservatism and felt proud to not only vote for him twice, but also, as the Florida Moral Majority Executive Director, to actively help register tens of thousands (not an exaggeration) of new voters throughout the state during his 1984 reelection campaign.

I was also very involved in helping to elect Joe Scarborough to Congress back in 1994, when he joined conservatives such as Helen Chenoweth, Bob Barr, and Steve Largent in the House of Representatives. I remained a Republican until 2004, when I became an Independent, choosing to affiliate with the Constitution Party. By 2004, it had become obvious to me that the Republican Party in Washington, D.C., had long abandoned the conservative credentials of Ronald Reagan.

I am amazed at how many of my conservative brethren, especially my Christian conservative brethren, continue to believe that the Republican Party is a conservative party. It's not. Not even in the broadest definition of the term is the GOP conservative.

I often hear Republican apologists referring to the GOP as the "family values" party, or the "pro-life" party, or even "God's" party. I've heard Christians say, "If you don't vote Republican, you are not saved and are going to hell." Is it really possible for Christian people to be that deceived? Apparently so.

Let me give readers an exercise in reality: the GOP (at the national level) cares nothing for "family values" or even the pro-life cause. It has been conning Christian and "family values" voters for decades. It's time Christians awakened to this truth! Just because Ronald Reagan, Joe Scarborough, and perhaps a few dozen other Republicans were (are) conservative, does not mean that the GOP, as a national party, is conservative, because it's not.

Christians will often accuse Democrats of belonging to the "party of death." It is true that the national Democratic platform embraces a pro-choice position. It is also true that there are numerous Democrats, especially at the state and local levels, who are pro-life. We currently have an outspoken pro-life Democrat running for Congress in my home district.

It is also true that the national party platform of the GOP embraces a pro-life position, but it is also true that the Republican platform is just so many words on paper. Can anyone remember when Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole brazenly acknowledged that he had never read the Republican platform and couldn't care less what it said? I do. The fact is, the pro-life plank of the national Republican platform is wholly meaningless and without substance! I'll prove it.

It was a Republican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court that legalized abortion on demand in 1973 with two monumental decisions: Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. Dear Christian friend, do you understand that? It was Republicans that authorized the killing of over 40 million innocent, unborn babies. Furthermore, since 1973, Republican-dominated Courts have repeatedly reaffirmed abortion-on-demand, including the current Court.

Republicans have enjoyed a sizeable majority on the Supreme Court for more than 30 years. The current makeup of the Court stands in favor of Republican appointments by a margin of 7-2.

Dear Christian friend, it is the Republican Party, more than the Democrat Party, that, by its action, legalized, augmented, and legitimized abortion-on-demand. How can anyone say that the GOP is the "party of life" with a straight face? It's laughable. Democrats may talk pro-abortion (and do), but it is the Republican Party that actually gave America abortion.

In fact, that's the way it is with a lot of things: Democrats talk liberal, but Republicans govern liberal. What's that old saying, "Your actions talk so loud, I can't hear a word you say"? If anything describes the Republican Party in Washington, D.C., that saying does.

Let me put it another way: there were 4,000 unborn babies aborted every day when George W. Bush became president back in 2001. After nearly six years of the Republican Party in complete control of the entire federal government, including both houses of Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court, there are still 4,000 unborn babies being aborted every day! Between 2000 and 2006 all the GOP has given pro-lifers is rhetoric!

And please, don't bring up the partial-birth abortion ban. The only thing that the bill does is further legitimize the remaining types of abortion (which amount to about 99% of all abortions). It also prompts those mothers who desire to abort their babies to do so earlier in their pregnancies. The partial-birth abortion ban has not saved the life of one unborn child.

It's time Christian conservatives face the fact that the national Republican Party is, along with the Democrat Party, a "party of death." Neither party is a pro-life party.

That is not to say that there are not a few principled pro-life Republicans in Washington, D.C. There are. However, they are a distinct minority. For example, When Rep. Ron Paul proposed H.R. 776, The Sanctity of Life Act of 2005, a bill "to provide that human life shall be deemed to exist from conception," there were only 5 cosponsors: Roscoe Bartlett, Ron Lewis, Charlie Norwood, Scott Garrett, and Jeff Miller. What happened to the rest of the so-called "pro-life" Republicans? What happened to our so-called "pro-life" president, George W. Bush? Did we hear him say one word of support for H.R. 776? No, we did not.

Furthermore, it is standard practice for GOP national party leaders to throw their power and weight (not to mention money) to pro-choice Republicans running against pro-life Republicans in primary races all over America. This happens all the time.

Let's also not forget that it was our pseudo "pro-life" president, George W. Bush who just recently gave his support to the abortifacient "Plan B" which prodded the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its sale over the counter without a prescription. Therefore, now that millions of people have unrestricted access to "Plan B," the true number of abortions will multiply exponentially. In other words, President George W. Bush has not only done nothing to end abortion on demand, he has actually dramatically increased the numbers of abortions taking place.

By the same token, if grassroots Republicans were themselves truly pro-life, they had the opportunity to support a genuine pro-life candidate when Alan Keyes was seeking the nomination for president. That they chose to elect the phony conservative, George W. Bush, means that Republicans' commitment to the life issue is shallow at best.

It is time for the American people (especially Christian conservatives) to recognize that the two-party system in Washington, D.C., is beyond broke: it is a joke! Pat Buchanan was absolutely right when he said that the two major parties are "two wings of the same bird of prey." One party tends to support Big Business; the other party tends to support Big Labor. However, both parties support Big Government, and neither party supports the U.S. Constitution or conservative principles.

At some point, our national Christian leaders must begin putting principle before party politics and cry out in support of genuine conservative constitutionalists, party label notwithstanding. There are hundreds and thousands of principled conservatives running for elected offices throughout the country. Some are members of my party, the Constitution Party. Some are Libertarians. Some are Republicans. A few are Democrats. If our national Christian leaders would stop playing politics and would begin championing these principled independent candidates, many of them would win election. If that happened, it would not take long for things to drastically change for the better.

However, as long as Christian conservatives remain determined to support the Republican Party under the pathetic "lesser of two evils" mantra, they will continue to elect these neocons who will continue to betray our most basic convictions.

Dear Christian friend, try something radical this November: vote for the most principled constitutionalist you can find, no matter his or her party affiliation, and trust God with the outcome of your vote. As far as the abortion debate is concerned, the GOP has absolutely no right to call itself the "party of life," because it is not.

© Chuck Baldwin

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Shadow of the Torturer by Vox Day

Vox Day has an interesting article in the past few weeks re the use of toruture and the campaign of fear that is stock and trade amongs conservatives these days---:

Posted: September 25, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Cognitive dissonance and logical contradiction are trusty indicators of inferior thought processes. It is not consistency that is the hobgoblin of small minds, after all, but ''a foolish consistency.'' Those claiming to possess large and superior minds should therefore be capable of consistencies that are not foolish.

But fear exerts a strange influence over the human mind. Fearfulness is a form of foolishness, indeed, it is one of its more powerful forms, capable of overruling reason and wisdom alike. The evil, the lazy and the intellectually corrupt make habitual use of fear in their arguments, because unfortunately, the ease with which fear can be inspired makes it an irresistably tempting instrument for politicians and commentators alike.

It has been disgusting to see the enthusiasm which conservatives supposedly adhering to concepts such as limited government, human liberty and Western civilization have been cheering the Bush administration's attempts to circumvent the limits of the Geneva Convention. Worse, they have urged it to altogether cast off the strictures of human decency and civilized behavior. They argue, with fearful lips aquiver, that if America does not assert the right of the Executive Branch to indiscriminately kill and torture, the Dread Terrorist Osama will rule from the White House as an iron-fisted Islamic dictator.

Or at least ''win,'' although somehow the pro-war brigade never finds the time to define what victory for one side or the other would be. Never mind, for have we not always been at war with Osama?

If the pro-war argument often borders on lunacy, the pro-war plus pro-torture position leaps into mad irony with the ease of undocumented workers crossing the Rio Grande. On the one hand, the hawkish torturists assert, it is cowardly for Americans to refuse to fight back after having been attacked. On the other, they declare it is imperative that we abandon centuries of civilized behavior for fear that there might one day be a bomb ticking somewhere at the same time that the perpetrator of the attack fortuitously happens to be in American custody.

This is an ontological argument for torture and the rational individual will find it less convincing than its kindred case for the existence of space aliens.

Last week in WND, one could almost picture Craig Smith's hands shaking in terror as he wrote the following: ''I would give the interrogators whatever they need to get the info we need. They are the professionals. They face these animals each day knowing that they want us dead. They know the information they hold will allow us to keep these murderers from killing more people. So let's take the gloves off.''

I don't know how Mr. Smith knows the Iranians or Saudi Arabians want us dead any more than the Germans, Japanese or Soviets once did, but I do know that jihad's ability to kill large quantities of Americans is arguably lower than that possessed by any American enemy since the war of 1812.

Rusty Humphries, meanwhile, is so frightened of not only terrorism, but crime as well, that he wishes to provide even your local police with the legal right to torture: ''As for the police who have one of the kidnappers of your daughter, let's be honest. If we do not give them the tools, leeway and permission to do whatever is necessary to prevent her brutal murder, we are a society not worth saving.''

The Apostle Paul writes that we are not given a spirit of fear, but Americans certainly appear to have acquired one from somewhere. And while there are a number of things that one might argue make our society not worth saving, a dearth of torture is seldom numbered among them.

The poverty and contemptible nature of these arguments for torture can be seen by the ease with which they can be as accurately applied to those for rape or cannibalism. After all, a terrorist might be more easily persuaded to inform on the whereabouts of the ubiquitous ''ticking-bomb'' if forced to watch his prepubescent daughters raped by federal agents and a thief might be more prone to confess his theft were his fingers gnawed to the bone by a policeman with a taste for human sashimi.

Why, with a sufficiently enthusiastic application of these post-civilized principles, Americans could not only reduce terrorism and crime, but dispense with that annoying and outdated concept of trial-by-jury altogether!

The reality is that America, like most great powers, is far more likely to fall to internal rot of the sort exhibited here than to external attack. We have far more to fear from these frightened intellectual descendants of Malcolm X and the Marquis de Sade than from a planet full of terrorists.

Vox Day is a novelist and Christian libertarian. He is a member of the SFWA, Mensa and the Southern Baptist church, and has been down with Madden since 1992. Visit his Web log, Vox Popoli, for daily commentary and responses to reader e-mail.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Military Commissions Act 2006: What About Freedom?

On October 17, 2006, President Bush, with the overwhelming approval of the House and Senate, signed into law The Military Commissions Act due largely to the recent Supreme Court ruling which stated that the military was not permitted to conduct tribunals in violation of due process. Prisoners were also guaranteed the right of habeas corpus as a means of redress and to test the legality of the detention and trial.

(Final House vote:

Final Senate vote:

Well, this new law now makes all of the things which the Supreme Court ruled as illegal and in violation of due process legal. It goes further: no habeas corpus options, prisoners may not invoke the Geneva Convention protections, the law does not exclude U.S. citizens as the objects of the moniker "enemy combatant," and the use of torture may even fall into the realm of "acceptable" in this new law. (Ted Kennedy apparently attempted to amend the legislation to exclude certain types of torture. This attempt failed.) (A fair reading of the new law:

If there was ever a question as to the direction of this administration regarding civil rights and liberties, I think this legislation ends the debate. Ron Paul voted against the legislation. Interestingly, our local Congressman, Sanford Bishop, voted for it. Strange as he is a Democrat and purportedly one of the defenders of civil rights.

As I stated in other threads re The Patriot Act and The Homeland Security Act we are headed in a direction which is dangerous and lethal to any kind of dissent or protest, folks. The mindset of the majority our elected officials is bent on domination and limitation in order to maintain "control." So much for conservative, small government Republicans.

A link to provide some background:

And finally, a good warning to our current leaders re the suspension of habeas corpus with some history to be remembered:

If the import of the rammifications of the passage of this law escapes us, we do not deserve to live in a free nation as we do not know what freedom really is...

Lux Lucet in Tenebris.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Coming Fury by Joe Sobran

September 2006
(page 1)
The Coming Fury
by Joe Sobran

As Venezuela's leftist president, Hugo Chavez,
cuddled with the ailing Fidel Castro on the occasion of
the latter's eightieth birthday, I found myself thinking
of a name from the past: Manuel Noriega. Remember him? He
was the pocky-faced dictator of Panama toppled by the
first President Bush in 1989, on the pretext that he was
trafficking in drugs, with the usual Hitler analogies
justifying the latest U.S war in Central America. After
he finally surrendered, Noriega was somehow tried under
U.S. law (though he hadn't set foot in this country) and
of course convicted. The last I heard, he was in an
American prison and had converted to Christianity.

This remains the most recent of America's many
little interventions in the region. We tend to forget
them quickly, but those on the receiving end remember
them. This is why rulers like Castro and Chavez are as
popular as they are in Latin America: whatever their
faults, at least they defy the bullying Yanqui.

About all I remember about the Panama war is that it
seemed quite unnecessary to me, while my conservative
friends were all for it. I never understood their
enthusiasm, except that the Cold War was coming to an end
and they relished the chance to exercise American power
abroad against an enemy, any enemy, and Noriega would
serve. I thought it was shameful. Obviously Noriega was
no threat at all to the United States; you might say he
was the Saddam Hussein of the Eighties. And we wonder why
there is so much anti-Americanism around the world.

Lately I've been reading Pat Buchanan's latest book,
STATE OF EMERGENCY, a warning that immigration by
unassimilable aliens now threatens not only America but
Europe. Given our history of absorbing newcomers
peacefully, I was disposed to be skeptical. But after
only a few chapters I found myself, against my will,
shaken and convinced. The new influxes, chiefly Mexican
here and Muslim in Europe, are totally different from
early waves of immigrants -- and far more dangerous. At
present rates, it won't be long until there are no
majority white Christian countries on earth. And the new
nonwhite majorities will be deeply hostile to the

In his brilliant, neglected book, THE MIGHT OF THE
WEST (1964), Lawrence Brown observes that we remember the
nineteenth century as a period of peace only because the
white nations seldom made war on each other. The rest of
the world experienced it differently. The white man's
technology, chiefly gunpowder, enabled him to invade and
conquer red, brown, yellow, and black men around the
world, with enormous attendant slaughter and disruption.
To these peoples it must have seemed as if a strange race
of pale aliens, armed with malevolent magic, had arrived
from another planet to destroy them. They were all but
helpless against the enemy's guns, then a terrible
novelty and mystery to them.

We ruled the world, and it seemed we would go on
ruling it forever. But now -- suddenly, in historical
terms -- the tables are turned, and it is we who seem
helpless against the colored races' explosive
populations. They are driving us out of their world and
moving into ours in huge numbers. And they are in no mood
either to adopt our ways or to forgive us.


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The Reactionary Utopian
September 26, 2006

by Joe Sobran

This year, 2006, is widely described as an "election
year." I think it would be more accurate to call it a
"reelection year." This time the future of our nation
will be at stake, as they say.

The voters are really angry. They are angry at both
parties, at the president, and at Congress. They are sick
and tired of the status quo -- war, high taxes,
corruption, runaway spending, soaring gasoline prices,
and poisoned spinach. They're mad as hell and they're not
going to stand for it anymore. They are demanding change
in Washington. And in a democracy like our own, the
voters are sovereign.

So, this November, the voters, in their awful fury,
are going to rise up and send the incumbents back to
Washington. That's what they always do. This is how a
vibrant democracy works.

Is there any cure for it? Yes. That's why I'm
writing. When the voters have made such a hash of
democracy, the only hope lies with the nonvoters.

Superficially, the nonvoters would appear to be the
brainiest part of the electorate: the elite 50 per cent
or so who are too sensible to bother thinking about
whether to elect Tweedle-Dee or Tweedle-Dum. So they
leave us at the mercy of those who imagine they see
crucial differences between the two candidates -- clones
who pretend they are diametric opposites.

Then Tweedle-Dee gets elected, and then reelected,
and reelected again, per omnia saecula saeculorum. He
becomes what we now call a "career politician," something
that would have horrified the Founding Fathers, who hoped
for frequent "rotation in office."

The obvious solution is for nonvoters to start
voting, or for a few voters to get smart. The rule should
be simply this: Never vote for an incumbent. Always vote
for the challenger, even if he looks worse than the

This would achieve several things. It would put an
end to the career politician, it would nullify the power
of money in elections, and it would weaken both major
parties. "Reelection Day" would be a thing of the past.

If only a tenth of the vote regularly went against
the incumbent, we would have "rotation in office" and the
advantages of incumbency would be wiped out. The ability
of politicians and, especially, their parties to
accumulate power would be severely reduced. This would
also mean that few politicians would be worth bribing,
directly or indirectly.

After all, most elections are decided by less than
10 per cent of the vote. The regular defeat of most
incumbents would be a healthy development. Let
Tweedle-Dum rule -- for one term. Then throw him out too.

Even now, voters are by no means entirely dumb,
though they are usually confused. Many of them realize
instinctively that voting means choosing the lesser evil
and that government is most bearable when neither party
has a monopoly of power. "Gridlock," with both parties
frustrating each other, is the nearest approximation we
have to constitutional government.

An incumbent is a man who already has more power
than he should. As a rule he should be replaced at the
first opportunity. The few exceptions don't matter enough
to modify the rule.

The American political genius has always lain in its
instinct to limit government, to divide and disperse
power. The powers of the Federal Government are listed,
defined, specified; some are denied to it, some are
positively assigned to the states, some are distributed
among the three branches. At the state level, we have
similar divisions, along with county and municipal levels
and their specific jurisdictions. And then there are
courts and juries.

Power can always be abused, tyranny can never be
entirely done away with, and some people will always see
the increase and concentration of political power as
"progressive" or at least advantageous to themselves.
Maybe the best we can do is to cultivate the habit of

And one way to achieve this is to keep reminding
ourselves that keeping a political office is not a sort
of property right. The seat now held by Senator
Tweedle-Dee is not "his" seat. If the people have any
political right, it is the right to change their rulers,
and they should exercise this right as often as they can.

Again: If only a tenth of the eligible voters
determined to vote against every incumbent in every
election, American politics could be peacefully

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Were Evangelicals Played For Suckers?

By Chuck Baldwin
October 17, 2006

No president in American history played the "God card" any better than George W. Bush. Early in his 2000 presidential campaign, Bush convinced fundamentalist/evangelical Christian leaders that he was "their" man. Those Christian leaders went on to promote and support Mr. Bush to the tune of two successful presidential election victories. To this day, they comprise his most loyal base of support.

But was it all a sham? Did G.W. Bush and Karl Rove simply dupe the Religious Right? A Bush insider now says that is exactly what happened: GOP strategists playedevangelical believers for suckers.

David Kuo has a long record of Christian conservatism. His resume includes tenure with such notable Republican leaders as William Bennett, John Ashcroft, Bob Dole, and Congressman J.C. Watts. Most recently, he served as Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

In his column, Shooting from the Heart, Kuo wrote that receiving President Bush's invitation to become Deputy Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives "was a dream come true for me." Kuo believed he had teamed with a man who sincerely intended to promote Christian conservatism in and through his administration. Now Kuo believes that he (and the entire evangelical community) had been duped.

Kuo has written a new book entitled Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction. He also sat down with CBS reporter Lesley Stahl for a 60 Minutes interview that aired this past Sunday.

Kuo writes in his book that White House staffers would roll their eyes at evangelicals, calling them "nuts" and "goofy." Asked if that was really their attitude, Kuo told Stahl, "Oh, absolutely. You name the important Christian leader and I have heard them mocked by serious people in serious places."

Kuo said that people in the White House referred to Pat Robertson as "insane," Jerry Falwell as "ridiculous," and James Dobson as having "to be controlled."

Kuo believes that GOP strategists successfully convinced Christian leaders "that Jesus came primarily for a political agenda, and recently primarily a right-wing political agenda-as if this culture war is a war for God. And it's not a war for God, it's a war for politics. And that's a huge difference."

Kuo points out that President Bush would use catch-phrases to convince believers. For example, in one speech Bush said, "There's power, wonder-working power in the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people."

The phrase "wonder working power" sailed over the heads of the media, but most evangelical Christians recognized it immediately from the great old hymn, Power In The Blood.

Kuo went on to say that "God and politics had become very much fused together into a sort of a single entity. Where, in a way, politics was the fourth part of the trinity. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and God the politician."

Kuo now feels badly for allowing politicians to use Christians (and the issues they embrace) as they did. He said, "I feel like it was more spiritually wrong. You're taking the sacred and you're making it profane. You're taking Jesus and reducing him to some precinct captain, to some get-out-the-vote guy." Kuo added, "[T]he name of God is just being destroyed in the name of politics."

Kuo is calling evangelical Christians to take a "fast" from politics. He said, "People are being manipulated. Good, well-meaning people are being told, 'Send your money to this Christian advocacy group or that.' And that's the answer. It's just not the answer. It's not the answer."

Kuo expects strong attacks from the White House and its supporters. He knows he will be viewed as a betrayer and that they will "go after him." He expects that he will be labeled as a "liberal" or an "idealist." But David Kuo says he is fine with that. He said, "I felt like I had to write this."

David Kuo's book should serve as a wake up call for America's evangelical community. We have been had. It's time to admit it.

From the cover-up of Congressman Mark Foley's debauchery (a cover-up that continues), to federal spending that is out-of-control, to an unprovoked, preemptive invasion against Iraq, to the "No Child Left Behind" education monstrosity, to the Patriot Act's decimation of the Fourth Amendment, to the building of an Orwellian surveillance society, the Bush administration has trampled on virtually every principle upon which America was founded.

No matter how badly evangelical Christians want to believe President Bush, no matter how desperately they want to enjoy access to the White House, no matter how deeply they feel obligated to support the Republican Party, it is time to face the truth that the GOP's only interest has been to use them for the simple purpose of winning elections.

Yet, there is an even greater lesson that evangelical Christians need to learn, and that is the lesson taught us in our own history. America's founders fought this battle more than 200 years ago and found that the greatest protection for religious liberty and principle was the implementation of, and loyalty to, the U.S. Constitution.

As Thomas Jefferson said, "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

Christians need to be less enamored with the religious professions and promises of politicians and much more committed to making sure that their elected representatives uphold their oaths of office to the Constitution. Fidelity to the Constitution will successfully address most of the issues evangelical Christians care about. It will even address the ones they don't care about, but should. It's not a "fast" from politics that Christians need, it's a rededication to constitutional government.

(c) Chuck Baldwin